Friday, August 31, 2007

Changes to Form 990

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The IRS is intent on getting the proposed changes to Form 990 completed and in the book by their deadlines, thus their september deadline for comments is not going to change, even despite the push by charities to allow for more time in the comment period.

Tax Exempt Governance

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I just wanted to point you all to an attorney in San Francisco who has published some information and guides as to corporate governance. His name is Gene Takagi and he has published on his blog a series of corporate governance articles and power points which are incredibly useful if you are dealing with that topic.

Baseball Chicago Style

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So, today I sat among the mellowest of mellow fans in the "friendly confines" of Wrigley Field. Unfortunately the Cubs lost (by a lot) to the Houston Astros, but I was able to see a game at the famous Wrigley Field (at the tippy top row) and get to meet some other Northwestern students (it's all about networking!).

The Cold Shoulder - Taxes Style!

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I know that this isn't necessarily associated with tax exempt entities, but I couldn't help myself. One of the recent tax related stories has been that the Federal Tax Exemption for americans living and working abroad does not apply to thoe persons living in Antarctica. Bloomberg has a great article on it. In summary, here is what's at stake.

The U.S. Tax Court ruled that the approximately 1,100 workers at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, McMurdo Station or other areas on the southern continent don't qualify for a longstanding exemption for Americans living abroad. At issue in the tax cases is whether Antarctica qualifies as a foreign country for purposes of a 50-year-old law that allows Americans living abroad to exclude part of their income from U.S. tax. Most of the cases date to 2001 and 2002, when the exclusion amount was capped at $80,000; the amount is now indexed for inflation and was $82,400 in 2006.

"As Antarctica is not a foreign country for purposes of the code, we conclude that petitioner is not entitled to exclude the wage income he earned in Antarctica,"' Judge Juan F. Vasquez wrote in one of 15 cases with identical rulings relating to the issue of tax collection for Antarctic residents.

The U.S. generally taxes citizens on their worldwide income. To qualify for what is known as a Section 911 exemption, U.S. citizens must live outside the country for an entire tax year, or 330 days in any 12-month period. U.S. citizens are required to pay taxes in the country where they are living. However, as we learned, even living in Antarctica for at least 330 days in a 12 month period is not going to be enough to prevent the payment of income taxes to the ever vigilant tax collector in the U.S.

Introduction

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Well, this is the first of what will hopefully be many blog entries to come. As an introduction let me tell you a little about myself. I was formerly an associate attorney at a large law firm in Nevada. While working there, I had an epiphany that what would make me most happy, from a legal standpoint, would be the advising of non-profit entities. The way to do that, is to become a specialist in the area of tax exemption in order to properly be able to advise such entities. That brings us to today. I have recently enrolled in the LLM in Taxation program at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, Illinois. I have uprooted my family and my life from Reno, Nevada, to the hustle and bustle of Chicago, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

My intention with this blog is to hopefully update it regularly to keep the interested public up to speed on the relevant tax law as it relates to tax exempt entities. I also intend to publish personal anecdotes and stories about the return to what is a very comprehensive and very difficult program of study. Both topics will be interesting (hopefully to all, preferably to most, but definitely to a few!)

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to keeping you up to date on a regular basis. Later Skaters!